The Paradox of Wisdom (Matthew 10:16-23)

One would think that being a disciple of Christ would result in instant glory. It must have been an incredible privilege to be sent out by Christ himself, and the people would embrace the messengers of the kingdom with open arms. This is what we would think, but Christ exhorts us to exercise wisdom in a way that almost seems contradictory. On the one hand we are to be humble doves, but on the other hand we are be be slithering serpents. How do we reconcile these two concepts? What is Christ trying to communicate to us?